Two minutes of review
For anyone looking for a soundbar for their small studio or even a college dorm in the market, the Creative Stage v2 is an excellent choice. It’s pretty compact, comes with a subwoofer, and is a significant improvement over your TV’s speakers. For just over $ 100, this is an affordable upgrade to your viewing experience.
That being said, the Creative Stage v2 might not be that impressive. It’s too small to properly fill a medium-sized room, and it’s really best for watching TV shows with a lot of dialogue. Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to pair with a smartphone to listen to music, but the audio quality is far less impressive.
Then there is the idea that the Creative Stage v2 could be used as a desktop speaker system, which can work to a certain extent. But sitting on your desk is a pretty big deal compared to having two satellite speakers that could be positioned next to your monitor instead. In short, there are many things that Creative Stage v2 gets right and some things that need improvement.
Price and availability
Creative Stage v2 is available now and costs $ 109.99 (£ 99.99; AU $ 142).
The look of the Creative Stage v2 is nothing out of the ordinary. You get an elegant soundbar in black, mostly made of plastic, with volume controls and power controls on the right.
The supplied subwoofer is connected to the soundbar with a 2 m long cable so that you only need a power cable to the soundbar.
On the back of the soundbar there are connections for HDMI, optical in, 3.5 mm socket and USB-C. The USB-C port can be used with the included cable to connect the soundbar to your PC or laptop, making the Creative Stage v2 recognized as an external speaker almost instantly.
There are also mounting holes built into the soundbar so you can neatly place them under your TV. Unfortunately, no assembly instructions are included in the scope of delivery. This is always a good thing to ensure that you are assembling your speaker correctly. We hope Creative can pick this up in the future too. A 3.5mm cable and USB cable are included, but there is no HDMI or optical cable – presumably to keep the cost of the device down.
Creative Stage v2 also comes with a remote control that lets you adjust speaker volume, play or skip Bluetooth media, and quickly switch input sources. Unfortunately no batteries are included. So take them with you before you set up your soundbar. A slight oddity about this remote control – it also managed to turn on our robotic vacuum whenever we used it, which was incredibly fun.
It’s very easy to set up – just plug the Creative Stage v2 into your TV and you’re good to go. Creative recommends doing this over HDMI (ARC) for the best sound quality. However, we didn’t see any difference when using either HDMI or the optical port. We do not recommend using Bluetooth even if your TV supports it, as there may be a noticeable delay at times, especially if there are scenes with dialogue.
You should never expect a soundbar to replace a full-fledged home theater experience, but what you should expect is a huge improvement over the standard speakers on your TV, and in that sense the Creative Stage v2 does a good job. Thanks to the “Clear Dialog” function, it offers brilliant clarity for voices, so that every word and every syllable sounds clear and precise.
Two 2.25-inch drivers emit enough sound to fill a small room, and while the subwoofer is a good addition, the Creative Stage v2 will struggle with medium-sized living spaces. There is just not enough volume to project clearly the further you are from it. While it’s an affordable upgrade, it’s clearly intended for use in much smaller spaces.
The other kicker is that you don’t get any supported audio codecs here, so even enabling the soundbar’s own surround mode doesn’t make much of a difference. The music quality is also below average. The mids sound a little too thin for our taste. The subwoofer is an added bonus for giving the tracks a bit of life, but that’s the only plus point. One thing that the Creative Stage v2 does well is to stay constant even at high volume – there is no distortion of the voices at all, even at maximum volume, which is a good thing.
If you want to use the Creative Stage v2 as a desktop speaker (and have plenty of desk space), you probably have a better experience considering that you will hear audio only inches away. The USB cable we found should be a bit longer as it was a bit short to comfortably reach our PC case on the floor.
Should I buy the Creative Stage v2?
Buy it when …
You want a TV sound upgrade
The Creative Stage v2 offers excellent voice quality and is therefore perfect for enhancing your favorite TV shows.
You are on a budget
It’s a very affordable soundbar with various connectivity options and can even be used as a PC speaker.
Don’t buy it if …
You want loud volume
The Creative Stage v2 simply cannot produce enough volume to fill more than a small room, and this gets worse the further you sit from it.
Source link : https://www.techradar.com/reviews/creative-stage-v2-soundbar/